“17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.” NIV
Here is a further thought on being ‘’strangers here’’. In another ‘coincidence’, I just happened to read this extract from C.S.Lewis’s ‘The problem of pain’ on the same day I arrived at this text. In it, Lewis is writing about the effect crises have on us, and once again it seems so relevant to the present time:
‘My own experience is something like this. I am progressing along the path of life in my ordinary contentedly fallen and godless condition, absorbed in a merry meeting with my friends for the morrow or a bit of work that tickles my vanity today, a holiday or a new book, when suddenly a stab of abdominal pain that threatens a serious disease, or a headline in the newspapers that threatens us all with destruction, sends this whole pack of cards tumbling down. At first I am overwhelmed, and all my little happinesses look like broken toys. Then slowly and reluctantly, bit by bit, I try to bring myself into the frame of mind that I should be in at all times. I remind myself that all these toys were never intended to possess my heart, that my true good is in another world and my only real treasure is Christ.’
However, Lewis goes on to describe the human tendency to ‘backslide’ when everything returns to normal:
‘God has had me for but forty-eight hours and then only by dint of taking everything else away from me. Let Him but sheathe that sword for a moment and I behave like a puppy when the hated bath is over – I shake myself as dry as I can and race off to reacquire my comfortable dirtiness, if not in the nearest manure heap, at least in the nearest flower bed.’
That is so insightful.
But I pray that when we return to ‘normal’ – whatever that ‘normal’ may look like – we will not return to being the same, where during this time we have realised we need to be different. God gives all kinds of insights in uncomfortable situations. Let’s hold tightly to these ‘treasures’.